Californian ‘roots-pop’ band Front Country anticipate warm Mareel welcome

An acclaimed Americana band who refer to their musical style as “roots-pop” will pack out Mareel’s auditorium next week.

Front Country are a Californian quintet who draw on a range of different influences, such as country, blues, Americana and jazz.

Singer Melody Walker says they like to call their style “roots-pop”, but they will also be bringing a variety of distinctly bluegrass instruments with them, such as mandolins, banjos and fiddles.

Asked what the Mareel audience can expect on Tuesday, Walker said they will be playing a lot of “political protest songs” as the band wrestle with the ongoing debacle that is President Trump’s reign.

“We’re really coming to terms with how things are moving politically,” she said.

“We didn’t believe Trump would be elected”.

She referred to the issue of immigration as a “political football” and said she had been writing more songs to “grapple with the personal responsibility” that came with living in the USA.

Walker says their connection to Shetland was coincidental – a video of the band covering Lau’s Ghosts was picked up by isles promoter Neil Riddell, who asked them to come to Shetland when they were next in the UK.

The show at Mareel comes in the middle of a wider tour that takes in shows in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland.

She expressed surprise at how well tickets had sold for the show, adding that she thinks the Mareel concert will be the band’s biggest show of the upcoming UK tour.

“It feels so great to know it is almost sold out.

“We’re so thankful.

“It seems like it is going to be a warm reception”.

Walker said the band was “hopeful” that they would be asked back to Shetland, and admitted they “would love” to play at the folk festival.

Front Country will be supported by Shetland Americana act, Kansa, who are still basking in the success of their debut release The Rowan Tree from last year.





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